[slideshow]The weekend just gone saw the Victorian Open played at the RMTC which proved to be a magnificent spectacle for all who came and watched with both the singles and doubles finals going the full three sets.  One highlight was seeing, for the first time, the Men’s and Lady’s World Champions playing doubles together.  The Victorian and Tasmanian Opens are the only worldwide events that will allow this to happen.

We have had many tight and entertaining matches played over the past few years at the RMTC, some expected and some not so; the Woolner Stone singles final played between World Champion Rob Fahey and Club Champion Kieran Booth proved to be an unexpected gem.  Kieran, who has been pitting himself against the game’s best at the various national Opens was eager to test himself against Rob and did so with aplomb.  It is one thing to catch the world champion a little off his game but quite another thing to be able to make him pay!  For the first half of the match, with Rob giving Kieran just a little too much latitude on his return of serve, Kieran belted the daylights out of the ball hitting numerous main wall and direct hits into the dedans.  In fact his hitting was so powerful and accurate that Rob was heard to say during the third set when Kieran finally smashed one high “about time he hit one up there”.  However, not for the first time, Rob tightened his game and in doing so reversed the tide of the match (at one point Kieran led the match 6/4 3/1).  The final score was 4/6 6/3 6/3 to Rob.

The George Limb Victorian Open doubles final was, like the singles final, played in great spirit.  Rob Fahey playing alongside the Ladies World Champion Claire Vigrass (having beaten Julian Snow and Chris Sievers in the semi-final) was pitted once again against Kieran Booth who was playing with our Head Pro Frank Filippelli (and a 7 time winner of this event – they beat Mike Happell and Brett Richardson in the semi-final).  Played on the Monday night, the crowd was treated to a high octane match with all four players clearly enjoying themselves.  Claire provided the perfect foil to Rob as she volleyed everything that came onto her radar and Rob swept, smashed and ultimately proved too good for the pair at the other end.  And the pair at the other end was playing well too.  Frank was clearly up for the contest and was able to execute many volleys and deft backhands that would have been beyond most.  He also showed that he has a few sneaky serves in his bag of tricks.  Kieran, like all of the players was smiling throughout as he continued to play well.  Once again the crowd was treated as the match went the distance 4/6 6/3 6/2 in Rob and Claire’s favour.

Thank you to Fiona Hewson for arranging the food on Monday night and to the players, markers and spectators for making it an event to remember.

Victorian Open Singles Final (Woolner Stone Trophy)

Rob Fahey defeated Kieran Booth
4/6 6/3 6/3

Victorian Open Doubles Final (George Limb Trophy)

Rob Fahey/Claire Vigrass defeated
Kieran Booth/Frank Filippelli 4/6 6/3 6/2

Doubles Semi-final results:

Rob Fahey/Claire Vigrass defeated
Julian Snow/Chris Sievers 6/4 6/1

Kieran Booth/Frank Filippelli
defeated Mike Happell/Brett Richardson 6/4 6/3

 Owen Guest